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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel said on Monday that its board had formed a special committee of independent directors to review Dish Network's $25.5 billion takeover bid for the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider.
Sprint had said last week that it would evaluate the Dish offer, which challenges Sprint's October agreement to sell 70 percent of its shares to Japan's SoftBank Corp for $20.1 billion.
Dish said it was pleased with the formation of the committee by Sprint and that it was available to meet with Sprint's Board, management and advisors to discuss its plans and its "willingness to commit to financing."
Dish's offer would require the company to raise about $9.3 billion in financing.
Sprint's special committee will be chaired by director Larry Glasscock. It hired BofA Merrill Lynch as its financial adviser and Shearman & Sterling LLP a its legal counsel.
Other Sprint special committee members include James Hance, V. Janet Hill, William Nuti and Rodney O' Neal.
Sprint's shares closed at $7.17 on the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, flat with their Friday close. Dish shares gained $1.10 or about 2.8 percent at $40.10 on Nasdaq.
Reporting By Sinead Carew; Editing by Maureen Bavdek